Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Review: Republocrat: Confessions of a Liberal Conservative by Carl Trueman

A Review: Republocrat: Confessions of a Liberal Conservative by Carl Trueman

I have not read Carl Trueman's book but judging from this article I would not agree with his position that abortion is simply a side issue. I do agree that we ought to listen to Fox News with the same critical ear we apply to the more liberal media outlets. Also, we ought to be wary of compromise as a way to draw more heathens with culturally relevant views. That's already a problem with the church growth movement. The trouble is when you water down the Gospel, the Law and ethics/morality so more liberals will join your church you wind up with more liberals than conservatives on the theological issues and eventually you wind up with a grassroots apostasy movement that is out to undermine your church, make gay rights and abortion something the church should accept and other such nonsense.

Of course, Carl Trueman is right that no political party is Christian. With that in mind we ought to throw both parties out and instead stick to what is RIGHT, not what will appease sinful rebels who might otherwise join our church. Trueman is only half right. From my perspective Trueman is an idealistic idealogue with visions of a church utopia on earth, something that will never happen. The Bible in fact predicts a great falling away in the end times and that seems to be what is in fact happening in the Anglican Communion and other mainline Protestant denominations worldwide. What we need is not more liberals in our church but more born again Christians who can distinguish between political loyalties and loyalties to Christ. Trueman seems to want to promote loyalty to the party that is more immoral than the other one.

Sincerely yours in Christ,



Batreader said...

Charlie, as you said you have not read the book otherwise you would not think that a) it relegates abortion to a side issue b) that it waters down the gospel c) that it seeks to compromise d) that it appeases anyone e) that Trueman thinks in terms of a church utopia. In fact you got the book wrong on just about everything - but that is the danger of reviewing a book that you haven't read :-)

Batreader said...

Here's a review by a largely trusted source.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Greetings Mr. Ray,

You said...

Trueman is only half right. From my perspective Trueman is an idealistic idealogue with visions of a church utopia on earth, something that will never happen.

I know Carl and he specifically said in the book that he had no utopian visions. The reason for this is that he has a very clear biblical understanding of the human condition. As it is, you get a nice little mention in his latest Ref21 post.

I hope you get an opportunity to read Carl's book. As a matter of course, I never post a book review without having first read the book. It saves me from some measure of embarrassment.

Feel free to read my review of Republocrat here.

Blessings in Christ,


Rooh said...


Trueman just responded to you.

steve said...

Charlie, what makes you think that if we "throw both parties out and instead stick to what is RIGHT" things won't come full circle again? That just seems like an incredibly naive proposition, one that doesn't take into account what it means to be human. it's like saying to a football player, "Ok, now, here's what I want you to do: catch the ball and make more touchdowns than the other guys."

Charlie said...

How do you know anything that Trueman "seems to want" if you haven't read the book?

Charlie J. Ray said...

I do not have the book but I have read enough and heard enough of Trueman to know he's wishy washy. I would be more than happy to review the book rather than offer my opinion if the publisher or one of you would send me a review copy:)

Charlie J. Ray said...


I know the same way I know what the Bible teaches--through reason and through comparison with church teaching and sola Scriptura. We are indeed all fallible and prone to sinful decisions. But the LORD is still sovereignly and providentially guiding both good and bad decisions for His own secret purposes. (Deuteronomy 29:29).

Charlie J. Ray said...

Trueman might accuse me of creating a "strawman" but the logical and practical implications of his position as laid out in this and many of his other "moderate" politics and theology is essentially compromise.

I do not advocate theonomy, reconstruction OR ecumenicalism. Trueman's position seems to favor ecumenicalism as opposed to the Moral Majority or the theonomy/reconstructionist position.

At the risk of being marginalized and unpopular it would be refreshing to see churches which stand for theological truth rather than ecumenical concerns. A good example of that is the Sydney Anglicans accepting the Anglican Church in North America in full communion when that province or denomination is predominated by Anglo-Catholic versions of pelagianism and works righteousness rather than the theology of the law/gospel distinction.

Trueman wants to pick a utilitarian ethic and an ecumenical theology of moderation rather than standing against the pelagianism of the Anglo-Catholics, Moral Majority, and the Reconstructionists.

Tell him to send me a review copy and I will be more than happy to offer a critical review.


Charlie J. Ray said...

Straw man? First, I never claimed to offer a book review. This is an opinion I offered after reading another article online. I have a right to express my opinions. Attacking me as a person simply because I dared to offer a dissenting opinion is ad hominem:)

Tell Trueman to send me a copy and I will offer a genuine review:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Trueman's position that abortion should not be a litmus test of any kind is like saying that the genocide of the Jews should not determine which party we support. Will you vote for the Nazis for a better economy?

Charlie J. Ray said...

It's odd that I'm accused of writing a book review when all I did was comment on a book review. If you all had simply clicked on the title of the article, you would have seen that I linked to a book review at The Aquila Report.

So much for the ad hominem attacks posted in my comments section. I deleted the most of those comments, by the way:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

@Batreader A review at The Gospel Coalition???? You have got to be kidding me???

The Gospel Coalition is a mix of so-called "reformed" Baptists, Amyraldians and worse--Tim Keller.

I will read the review to which you linked and get back to you.

I attended a conference sponsored by Gospel Coalition called Gospel Growth/People Growth last February in Chicago. Needless to say I was less that impressed with their alleged commitment to reformed theology. It reminds me of the old Wendys commercial, "Where's the beef???"

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Greetings Mr. Ray,

The Google blogs have it arranged that if you click on a post's title, the comment section of that post will come up in what I consider to be a more easily readable format. (Your template is somewhat of an exception to this). The first time I read your post, having clicked on the title, it did not direct me to any other book review, but only to the comments section. When I clicked on it today, it sent me to The Aquila Report review.

I think it would be helpful if you could clarify this for your readers. It seems to me that the link to The Aquila Report review is a recent addition to your article. If so, then one can hardly blame the commenters for thinking that your use of the word "Review" in the blog post title is somewhat disingenuous. If I am wrong about this, then I sincerely apologise to one who is, by all accounts, a brother in Christ. May God forbid that after all these years I develop an "online nemesis."

Blessings in Christ,


Charlie J. Ray said...

From this quote at the Gospel Coalition review, "Trueman doesn’t waste all his bullets on the Right. Though himself a liberal (of the old school variety he is quick to add), Trueman has little patience for evangelicals who parade their Democratic sympathies in a “Aren’t I naughty?”, it would appear that my opinion of Trueman is closer to the truth than you want to admit.

Typical of political relativism, Trueman wants you to vote liberal and ignore the fact that abortion is absolutely genocide. My, isn't Trueman thoughtful and smart? As if us redneck Reformed Christians with shotguns can't tell bullshit from fact?


Charlie J. Ray said...

@Pilgrim The link has always worked. In fact there are two links: The title and the other link below the title. It stands as I posted it originally and has not been changed. Perhaps you should be less trigger happy? I thank you for the link posted by Trueman at Reformation21. I got free exposure for a mistake on your part.

By the way, I stand by what I said about Trueman. He's a damned liberal compromiser with relativism views. Right is right and wrong is wrong.

The Republicans are no better than the Democrats. Both are immoral parties. I simply try to pick the lesser of two evils when I vote. And you can bet I will NEVER vote for someone who promotes the genocide of unborn children whether it be Democrat or Republican.

Furthermore, I will never vote for any party that has gay rights and abortion as part of their platform. Trueman and even Mike Horton are idiots when it comes to politics.

They ought to be sounding the warning instead of selling political relativism!

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Whoa whoa whoa! You have it all wrong.

Trueman is saying that Christians who vote with the Democrat party have no right to lord it over those who vote with the Republicans, as if they are better people by virtue of being Democrats. In this sense, I agree with him. That kind of elitist thinking (that is, of the party leadership) goes to the core of our problems.

Trueman is appealing for a sense of Christian humility. It has nothing whatsoever to do with political relativism, only that Christians who embrace to some degree either party should deal with each other in a loving, brotherly fashion.

I hope you don't disagree with that.

Blessings in Christ,


Charlie J. Ray said...

Trueman's motives shine through. Like all liberals he wants Christians to vote for the Democrats. That's appalling since the Democratic Party openly embraces theological relativism, atheism, gay rights, abortion, socialism, and a host of other anti-Christian policies. While the Republicans are immoral, materialistic, and emphasize lassez faire economics to the extreme, over all the choice is clear. Until the Democratic Party moves to the center on family and religious issues they do not deserve any Christian support whatsoever. NONE. Show me a pro-life, anti-gay rights Democrat and I will gladly vote for him or her. Socially and theologically conservative Democrats are practically non-existent. I'll vote for the Tea Party before I'd vote for a Democrat.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

I think we should make a distinction between anti-gay rights and anti-gay marriage.

On the one hand I'm opposed to changing the traditional and God-given definition of marriage of one man and one woman to incorporate any other kind of human relationships. So is Carl Trueman.

On the other hand, I think one should be allowed to include on his health insurance anyone he wishes, have visit him in the hospital anyone he wishes, and that he should be able to leave his estate to anyone he wishes.

I know there are pro-life Democrats, but their voices are typically stifled by the bullying, politically correct far leftists that have actually taken over that party. The classical liberal, though I disagree with him, is one with which a reasonable discussion can occur. Such is Carl Trueman, as I know through first-hand experience.

As far as socialism being anti-Christian, I'm not convinced of that. I am a conservative Reformed evangelical in theology as well as being politically conservative, but I hesitate to identify capitalism as being God's best or only method of human governance.

Constitutionally speaking is another matter, of course.

As far as supporting the Democrat party, I would prefer to judge that on a case by case basis. We had a popular Governor here in Pennsylvania some years ago who was a Democrat and leaned toward liberal policies, but was a staunch defender and advocate of the unborn. He got a lot of well-deserved support and respect from the Christian community because of that.

As for the Tea Party, well, they're not actually a party per se. I am not aware that they are running any third party candidates, at least not in this election.

My problem is that should the Republicans take back Congress, I'm not convinced they won't be swallowed up by Washington and lose their souls just as so many others have before them. I'm not confident that they will effect the kind of reversals and change that is needed to put our country back on track. As long as these folks embrace the servant model and not the elitist hierarchy model, I see reason for hope for our country (humanly speaking).

Charlie J. Ray said...

Pure socialism is inherently godless, materialistic, and atheistic. If Alan Colmes is any indication or representation of what the Democratic Party looks like, then my generalization stands. Of course there will be exceptions to the rule. I do believe I said that capitalism is as godless and materialistic as socialism.

Be that as it may, homosexuals and various other miscreants have no legal right to special status beyond the legal status given to all single Americans. It is an implicit moral support to offer them benefits for their immoral behavior. Your position is a compromise of the moral law and the decalogue. No Christian should support laws that endorse, encourage, or provide a foundation for immorality or anything that would undermine the moral law of God. I am by no means a reconstructionist or a theonomist but that does not mean that I think homosexuals should have equal rights with married couples.

The truth is the government is only generally guided by the moral law. However, our Christian responsibility is to try and persuade the authorities to stay in line with God's moral law. I believe the judicial and ceremonial laws of ancient Israel are no longer binding and that we are under a general equity to follow the moral law as Calvin advocated.

Your view leads to theological liberalism and relativism, in my opinion.


Charlie J. Ray said...

More gutless Carl Trueman remarks:

Why American Reformed Christians are involved in the political process.

Anonymous said...

If you really believe that Democrats are socialists, I fear it is you that practices relativism. While many of their policies might be deemed "liberal", they cannot even begin to compare with the high-taxing, high-intervention socialist governments that have plagued many European nations in the past sixty years.

Charlie J. Ray said...

That's because Republicans keep the socialists in check. Left to themselves Democrats would tax us into communism and socialism. Thank God for the Tea Party:)

Does "national health care" ring a bell??

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>>Anonymous said...

If you really believe that Democrats are socialists, I fear it is you that practices relativism. While many of their policies might be deemed "liberal", they cannot even begin to compare with the high-taxing, high-intervention socialist governments that have plagued many European nations in the past sixty years.<<<

Obama care kicks in in 2014. We will see if we can match the high taxes of other socialist nations. Charlie 3/27/2012

Charlie J. Ray said...

BTW, anyone who favors giving gays any rights in addition to other single Americans is endorsing "benefits" and positive reinforcement of immorality and an anti-traditional family agenda. Does "social engineering" ring a bell?

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